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TV News Roundup: ‘Walking Dead’ Episode 2 Ratings Falter, ‘The Young Pope’ Gets a Premiere Date

In today’s TV news roundup, “The Walking Dead” saw a bigger drop that usual in its live-same-day ratings for the second episode of the season, and a whole lot of premiere dates were set, including HBO’s “The Young Pope” and the next round of “The Bachelor.”

RATINGS

The Walking Dead” is still one of the biggest things on television. But the second episode of Season 7 was a little less big than might have been expected, nabbing 12.46 million total viewers and an impressive 6.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. That was about a 27 percent dip from the premiere (17 million, 8.4 demo rating); most other second episodes tend to see drop-offs in the lower double-digits. Of course, the “Walking Dead” demo rating still beats every scripted TV series by a walker-infested mile, no small feat for a show in its seventh season.

It’s tough to parse the reason for the bigger dip than usual between the season premiere and the second episode, due to a confluence of possibilities. Game 5 of the World Series, which could have been the end of the Championship road for the Chicago Cubs, drew in a massive audience of 23.6 million and a 6.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic on Fox. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game was a tense last-minute win by the Dallas Cowboys over the Philadelphia Eagles, garnering an audience of 18 million, with a 6.5 rating in the demo. It’s possible a portion of the fans who raised a fuss over the premiere’s violence did step away — at least for the week. Or perhaps the dip was the result of all three of those factors. Clarity on whether some “Dead”-heads were jumping ship or just lured away for the evening by sports will come with ratings that include viewing within three and seven days.

DATES

Nick Viall begins his search for true love on ABC’s “The Bachelor” on the show’s Season 21 premiere on Jan. 2, 2017.

HBO’s The Young Pope will premiere Jan. 15, 2017. HBO is doubling episodes up on Sundays and Mondays for five weeks. “The Young Pope” stars Jude Law as Lenny Belardo, the first American Pope.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hillscomes back for Season 7 on Bravo on Dec. 6. A new housewife joins the crew: Dorit Kemsley, whose husband Paul “PK” Kemsley manages live-in client Boy George.

FX’s Zach Galifianakis comedy “Baskets” will return for a second season on Jan. 19, 2017. Louie Anderson won the Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy in September for playing Christine Baskets, mother of Galifianakis’ clown Chip.

“Kate Plus 8” is celebrating 10 years on TLC, and the show’s new eight-episode season premieres Nov. 22. The new season begins with a look back over the years with never before seen footage and new interviews with the family.

Also on TLC, “Sister Wives” will return Nov. 27. The series follows the polygamous Brown family, with one husband, four wives and 18 children.

CASTING

Jane Seymour has been cast in the pilot for CMT‘s soap-comedy “His Wives & Daughters.” The show will center around the eclectic and cunning wives and daughters of country music legend and infamous womanizer Eddie Ray Banks. Seymour will play Banks’ tough-as-nails wife Lorna Larson Banks, who parlayed her early career success as a duo with Banks into a huge solo career that eventually matched her former husband’s.

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Bravo Media has named Erica Forstadt as vice president of current production. She will serve as executive in charge of production on new and returning series like “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and “Shahs of Sunset.” Forstadt joins Bravo from OWN, where she was vice president of programming and development.

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